Tag Archives: baking

Homemade Buns

Last month, we got a new grill here. A proper one that works nicely. A little over a week ago I put “turkey burgers” on my dinner schedule for a Friday and planned to grill them and make my own buns.

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I made the “light brioche buns” from smitten kitchen. They were really good and pretty easy, I didn’t even use my stand mixer for them. I didn’t have any sesame seeds so I just spilt the tops.

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I made turkey burger patties with cheese inside them, and we also grilled the buns. It was really good.

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I made the pasta salad for myself for lunch earlier and saved it for a side dish.

Yeastspotting

Fairy Princess Bread

As soon as I found out about fairy bread, I was scheming about how to make it far more complicated more fun. Fortunately for me, my cousin’s second birthday was approaching.

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The idea of fairy bread is simple and clever, and of course I would make some with my homemade bread. But why stop there? Why not make a special bread, a whole fairy bread loaf? The idea ruminated in my mind and as I tried to fall asleep the night before I planned to make the dough, the modifications were complete in my mind.

Fairy Princess Bread

So named because it’s not just bread for fairies, it’s not just bread for princesses, it’s bread for a princess of the fairies. Alternately, it could be the bread that fairies make for princesses.

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Adapted from Soft American-Style White Bread recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1.5 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
  • 1.5 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I actually forgot the sugar, so you can safely leave it out if you like)
  • .5 cups butter, melted, plus extra for brushing on the crust
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour (1-2 cups could be switched out for whole wheat flour)
  • .5 tsp almond extract (you could up this to a full teaspoon)
  • 4-5 medium strawberries, pureed or mashed
  • 20 drops neon pink food coloring (you could use red, but the drops may not be the same)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Neutral-tasting oil, Pam, or butter for greasing the pan

Note: This recipe makes about twice the amount of dough you’ll need for the four mini loaves I show. My extra dough is currently sitting in the fridge(it’ll keep happily there for 7 days), and I plan to divide it in 2-4 pieces and put them in the freezer for future use. You can do the same, make more bread, or halve the recipe.

  1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and melted butter in your stand mixer bowl, a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded food container. Add the strawberries, almond extract, and 20 drops neon pink food coloring. Stir so that color is distributed.
  2. Mix in the flour without kneading. I stirred a bit with a fork first, scraping the sides and turning the flour over to make sure the liquid was evenly distributing it’s color onto the flour, then used the dough hook on my stand mixer. You can also use a spoon or your hands to mix the dough the rest of the way.
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  3. Cover loosely and allow to rest about two hours.  I use a tea towel or cloth napkin and just put it over my mixing bowl, leaving it right on the stand mixer. If you used a lidded container, set the lid on loosely so it’s not airtight(unless your container has holes because it’s for bread).
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    Seriously, this was my most tall rising bread ever.
  4. To make mini loaves, grease your loaf pans. Using wet or floured hands(I used wet hands here), take about a handful of dough and shape it into a ball to put in a mini loaf pan. The dough should fill the pan a little more than halfway full.
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  5. Slash the top of the loaf. Let the dough rest for 40 minutes (1 hour and 40 minutes if the dough was refrigerated).
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  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 1TB butter(I microwaved in a coffee cup for 15 seconds) and mix in 1 tsp honey. Brush the tops of the loaves with the honey butter and top with sprinkles.
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  7. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. I put them on a baking sheet to make it easier. Larger or smaller loaves may need adjustments in cooking time.
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  8. Turn them out of the loaf pans right away and let them cool on a rack or on their sides so the bottom doesn’t get soggy.
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I tried out a few different things on the bread. Cream cheese, peanut butter, and butter(all with some sprinkles of course). They were all really good.

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You could also try jam, cream cheese and fruit, or make little sandwiches. Another variation would be to bake the bread in muffin tins or mini muffin tins to make individual fairy bread loaves.

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I ended up serving it the traditional fairy bread way; butter and sprinkles.

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I think Chloe might enjoy the bread more when there’s not a party going on! Extra loaves can be frozen whole and reheated in the oven, or frozen in slices and toasted. I imagine Chloe has some pink fairy sandwiches in her future!

Mother’s Day 2010

For years, every Mother’s Day my mom would say “I’ll make lasagna.” I would say “No mom, you’re a mom. I’ll make the lasagna.” I’d start to make it, but then partway through I’d get sent to the store or something and she’d end up finishing it. I should mention that we were always at my grandmother’s house, so of course she wanted to do something for her mother too.

This year was probably the most successful ever. I made a big quiche, using the crust recipe from this quiche at smitten kitchen, and the quiche procedure from Alton Brown. I used ham, cheese, broccoli and spinach. The hardest part was how long to bake it! Since it was so big, I wasn’t sure how long it would take, and I debated a bit whether it was done or not.

Mother's Day Quiche

It turned out pretty well. Gramma said it was better than Polly’s and Marie Calendar’s. There’s just something wonderful about grandmothers, isn’t there?

My mom loves croutons, so I put together a salad bar for which I made my own croutons. I’d never made croutons before, but I read lots of crouton recipes and came up with my own version.

Crouton Making

I used the end of a loaf of European Peasant Bread that I made earlier in the week. I cut up my bread and melted some butter in the microwave. I seasoned the butter with garlic salt, pepper, dill, and parsley. I put all the bread cubes in a ziploc bag, poured in the butter mixture and tossed the bread cubes in the bag.

I lined a pan with parchment paper and dumped the bread cubes onto it, separating them so that none were on top of each other. I baked them in the oven at 350°F for about 16 minutes(poking at them every 8 minutes to see if they were crunchy), then turned it up to 375°F for about 10 more minutes. If I make them again I’ll probably try staying at 350°F for like 30 minutes or 375°F the whole time for like 25. I took them out of the oven and let them cool on the counter. They got alot harder as they cooled and became croutony.

Croutons for My Mother

They came out really well. My mom was eating them by themselves, she was like “This is part of my present, right? I get to take the leftovers home in a baggie?”

Fairy Bread

I just learned about fairy bread. Apparently it’s an Australian favorite for kids’ parties.

Fairy Bread

Fairy bread is just buttered bread with sprinkles on top. Ever since I found out about it and started looking at pictures of it on flickr and whatnot, I’ve been thinking about how I would make it. My cousin is turning two next month, and it sounded like a great thing to bring for her party, especially with my fresh baked bread. Yesterday I had to see how it actually tasted, so I cut half a slice of bread, buttered it and put on some pink sugar and valentine colored non-pareils. It was actually pretty good, but I think it would be better with a little different bread. My loaf was the second of a batch of dough, so it had gotten a little sourdough flavor. Now I’m thinking about coloring my bread dough. Is that crazy?

Bread Log: April 18, 2010

Friday, April 16 – I made two batches of dough! First I made a batch of Light Whole Wheat bread with 2 cups of white whole wheat flour instead of 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Then I made a batch of olive oil dough.

Saturday, April 17 – We made calzones for lunch with olive oil dough. I brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled on garlic salt and parmesan before baking. They turned out huge so we cut them in half. They were really good though.

Sunday, April 18 – Today we had a second late Easter party since so many people couldn’t make it on Easter. I made a batch of rolls, half with light whole wheat dough, half with olive oil dough. I brushed them with butter and baked in muffin tins.

Fresh Rolls

Also, I learned about fairy bread today. Apparently it’s an Australian staple at kids’ parties and it’s just buttered bread with sprinkles on top! It looks so cute and simple. My little cousin is turning two next month and I’m already scheming about making it to bring for her birthday. I was trying to think of different things I could do to make it cool, and then I thought… colored bread! I could tint my bread dough pink or purple. Now I just want to make my next batch of dough pink. Is that crazy?

The book: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Bread Log: April 16, 2010

Yesterday, I baked the rest of my Soft American-Style White Bread dough.

I really wanted to try some cinnamon bread with this dough, so I made a mini loaf. Here’s some advice: wax paper is not at all parchment paper and if you are out of parchment paper, do not try to substitute wax paper.

The rolling out and rolling up the cinnamon in the dough didn’t work quite as neatly as I’d hoped, I probably should have rolled it out with more flour.

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It looked a bit funny when I put it in the pan, but it came out looking nice, and it sure tasted good! I brushed it with butter instead of an egg wash. The instructions said to brush the top with sugar, but I used some of my leftover cinnamon and sugar.

For the rest of the dough, I put it in my usual loaf pan that I use for sandwich bread. I had a revelation the other day about the last loaf and the end of my batch of dough.

There usually isn’t as much dough for the last loaf of bread as for the first. As a result, I often end up with really short loaf of bread or I use the smaller loaf pan and the sandwiches are really tiny.

Finally I thought, “What if I put a ball of aluminum foil in the end of the loaf pan?” Why didn’t I think of that before? It worked pretty well and I ended up with sort of a partial loaf which, when sliced, should be the normal shape and size for sandwich bread.

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One end looks a little lumpy, but I think it came out pretty nicely. A great bread hack!

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Also this morning Papa was at Henry’s Market and called to see what kind of flour I needed. I suggested looking for King Arthur’s wheat flour. They came back with King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour. It’s an interesting flour, but I’m not sure if it will taste more like white flour or more like wheat flour, so I’m not sure how I’ll use it yet.

Bread Log April 12, 2010

April 8 – Made The Master Recipe/Boule dough with one cup wheat flour. Turns out this is also the Light Whole Wheat bread in the book!

This was my first homemade bread in a while and it was super tasty, although it didn’t get as tall as I wanted in the loaf pan. I think this was because I slashed it after its 40 minute rest right before putting it in the oven which made it unrise. From now on I’m going to slash before it rests.

This bread was amazing for toast and good for sandwiches, but the second loaf’s crust was a little hard.

April 11 – Made Soft American-Style White Bread, substituting one cup of wheat flour for one of the cups of all-purpose. I probably would have tried it with a little more wheat flour, but that was the end of my wheat flour.

This bread smelled amazing, though I think that had something to do with the fact that it was brushed with butter! My loaf came out looking really nice and sliced up beautifully for sandwiches. It was softer than the Master Recipe, which is why I wanted to try it. A great sandwich bread, especially the texture, but it was a little plain tasting.

I think I’d like to try making a mini cinnamon loaf with this dough, and I think it would make nice rolls.

Bread I want to try next…

  • Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread inspired by Chris Kimball
  • Bagel/Pretzel dough (pretzel bread sandwich rolls!)
  • European Peasant Bread

The book: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Bread Baking

About a year ago while we were still in our apartment, I started making my own bread for our sandwiches. We were now both working at home all day and needed satisfying lunches every day, and we were trying to save money however we could. I stumbled upon Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day. I tried the free “master recipe” provided on the website, and it came out great. I continued to make the bread regularly, enough for sandwich lunches almost every weekday until we moved in with my grandparents. I made a couple batches of bread while there, but then I sort of stopped for a while.

Last week I made my first new batch of dough in a while. It was just as easy and good as I remembered. I wanted to try different bread, though. Last night I finally bought the whole book. I got the Kindle version mostly with my swagbucks-earned Amazon gift cards.

This evening, with the little end of my previous loaf not enough for sandwiches tomorrow, I started a batch of dough with a new recipe from the book. The bread is sitting out and cooling right now, and it is beautiful. It looks and smells amazing.

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I used the Soft American-Style White Bread recipe, although I incorporated some wheat flour with the all-purpose. They’ve all tasted great, but this is one of those loaves that just looks like a “proper” sandwich bread. I can’t wait to cut into it tomorrow!

Snickerdoodles

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended.
3. In a small shallow bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in the sugar mixture. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies should be slightly golden at the edges. Remove to cool on wire racks.

makes 3 dozen